‘Don’t Look Up’ Nails the Media Apocalypse

“That’s me calling myself,” said Mr. McKay. “I’m by no means above this. I really want Ben Affleck and J. Law to find happiness together, and I’m really excited about the next thing Taco Bell is going to make — is it a burrito full of baby burritos?”

In a shift outside the movie itself, much of the propaganda for Don’t Look has focused on Hollywood gossip. At the start of the show, Mr. MacKay told Vanity Fair that he had not spoken to his longtime partner Will Ferrell, star of “Anchorman” and other McKay films, including “Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights” since he cast a different actor to play the title role. In a planned HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers.

Mr McKay said seeing the Hollywood controversy push aside a serious message about climate change was “laughably ironic”. (Then he spent a few more minutes talking about how the gossip around him and Mr. Ferrell weren’t entirely accurate. For the record: “That’s not why Will and I have been separated — we’ve been separated for three months. That made us not talk.” Ok!)

Mr. McKay was too unable To stay out of the controversy, actor Jeremy Strong interviewed The New Yorker last week about his role on Succession, on which Mr. McKay is also an executive producer.

Good journalism is always a balance between telling people what they want to hear and what they need to know. Mr. McKay claims that decades of a very active media market, and years of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, have thrown everything out of the game.

I was reminded of that point last night when presenting a new newspaper program named in honor of Harry Evans, the crusader Times of London editor who came to New York after refusing to honor the bid of the newspaper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch. Historian Simon Schama recalls that Evans was a “hot metal journalist” who overcame British legal restrictions to expose the harms of thalidomide in the 1970s. Mr. Shama noted that his great topic was corporate wrongdoing.

“If he were here now, he would say the slow death of the earth is no small matter to be alarmed,” said Mr. Shama.

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